Disciplining the Poor

Author: Joe Soss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226768783
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Disciplining the Poor explains the transformation of poverty governance over the past forty years—why it happened, how it works today, and how it affects people. In the process, it clarifies the central role of race in this transformation and develops a more precise account of how race shapes poverty governance in the post–civil rights era. Connecting welfare reform to other policy developments, the authors analyze diverse forms of data to explicate the racialized origins, operations, and consequences of a new mode of poverty governance that is simultaneously neoliberal—grounded in market principles—and paternalist—focused on telling the poor what is best for them. The study traces the process of rolling out the new regime from the federal level, to the state and county level, down to the differences in ways frontline case workers take disciplinary actions in individual cases. The result is a compelling account of how a neoliberal paternalist regime of poverty governance is disciplining the poor today.

Care of Souls Care of Polis

Author: Ryan LaMothe
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498205224
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the fields of pastoral care and pastoral theology, there are times when a book signals a paradigm shift. This is one such book. LaMothe develops a political pastoral theology that is used to examine critically political, economic, and societal structures and practices. In the first part of the book, LaMothe argues that care and pastoral care are political concepts, which, along with the notion of justice, can be used as a hermeneutical framework to assess macropolitical and macroeconomic realities. Included in this section is the notion of civil and redemptive discourse, necessary for the survival and flourishing of persons and polis. The last section of the book examines U.S. Empire, capitalism, class, classism, and other pressing political issues using the hermeneutical lens of care.

Police Power and Race Riots

Author: Cathy Lisa Schneider
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812209869
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Three weeks after Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a New York City police officer shot and killed a fifteen-year-old black youth, inciting the first of almost a decade of black and Latino riots throughout the United States. In October 2005, French police chased three black and Arab teenagers into an electrical substation outside Paris, culminating in the fatal electrocution of two of them. Fires blazed in Parisian suburbs and housing projects throughout France for three consecutive weeks. Cathy Lisa Schneider explores the political, legal, and economic conditions that led to violent confrontations in neighborhoods on opposite sides of the Atlantic half a century apart. Police Power and Race Riots traces the history of urban upheaval in New York and greater Paris, focusing on the interaction between police and minority youth. Schneider shows that riots erupted when elites activated racial boundaries, police engaged in racialized violence, and racial minorities lacked alternative avenues of redress. She also demonstrates how local activists who cut their teeth on the American race riots painstakingly constructed social movement organizations with standard nonviolent repertoires for dealing with police violence. These efforts, along with the opening of access to courts of law for ethnic and racial minorities, have made riots a far less common response to police violence in the United States today. Rich in historical and ethnographic detail, Police Power and Race Riots offers a compelling account of the processes that fan the flames of urban unrest and the dynamics that subsequently quell the fires.

Remaking America

Author: Joe Soss
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610445104
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Over the past three decades, the contours of American social, economic, and political life have changed dramatically. The post-war patterns of broadly distributed economic growth have given way to stark inequalities of income and wealth, the GOP and its allies have gained power and shifted U.S. politics rightward, and the role of government in the lives of Americans has changed fundamentally. Remaking America explores how these trends are related, investigating the complex interactions of economics, politics, and public policy. Remaking America explains how the broad restructuring of government policy has both reflected and propelled major shifts in the character of inequality and democracy in the United States. The contributors explore how recent political and policy changes affect not just the social standing of Americans but also the character of democratic citizenship in the United States today. Lawrence Jacobs shows how partisan politics, public opinion, and interest groups have shaped the evolution of Medicare, but also how Medicare itself restructured health politics in America. Kimberly Morgan explains how highly visible tax policies created an opportunity for conservatives to lead a grassroots tax revolt that ultimately eroded of the revenues needed for social-welfare programs. Deborah Stone explores how new policies have redefined participation in the labor force—as opposed to fulfilling family or civic obligations—as the central criterion of citizenship. Frances Fox Piven explains how low-income women remain creative and vital political actors in an era in which welfare programs increasingly subject them to stringent behavioral requirements and monitoring. Joshua Guetzkow and Bruce Western document the rise of mass incarceration in America and illuminate its unhealthy effects on state social-policy efforts and the civic status of African-American men. For many disadvantaged Americans who used to look to government as a source of opportunity and security, the state has become increasingly paternalistic and punitive. Far from standing alone, their experience reflects a broader set of political victories and policy revolutions that have fundamentally altered American democracy and society. Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Remaking America connects the dots to provide insight into the remarkable social and political changes of the last three decades.

Class War

Author: Benjamin I. Page
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226644561
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Recent battles in Washington over how to fix America’s fiscal failures strengthened the widespread impression that economic issues sharply divide average citizens. Indeed, many commentators split Americans into two opposing groups: uncompromising supporters of unfettered free markets and advocates for government solutions to economic problems. But such dichotomies, Benjamin Page and Lawrence Jacobs contend, ring false. In Class War? they present compelling evidence that most Americans favor free enterprise and practical government programs to distribute wealth more equitably. At every income level and in both major political parties, majorities embrace conservative egalitarianism—a philosophy that prizes individualism and self-reliance as well as public intervention to help Americans pursue these ideals on a level playing field. Drawing on hundreds of opinion studies spanning more than seventy years, including a new comprehensive survey, Page and Jacobs reveal that this worldview translates to broad support for policies aimed at narrowing the gap between rich and poor and creating genuine opportunity for all. They find, for example, that across economic, geographical, and ideological lines, most Americans support higher minimum wages, improved public education, wider access to universal health insurance coverage, and the use of tax dollars to fund these programs. In this surprising and heartening assessment, Page and Jacobs provide our new administration with a popular mandate to combat the economic inequity that plagues our nation.

Behind the Development Banks

Author: Sarah Babb
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226033678
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) carry out their mission to alleviate poverty and promote economic growth based on the advice of professional economists. But as Sarah Babb argues in Behind the Development Banks, these organizations have also been indelibly shaped by Washington politics—particularly by the legislative branch and its power of the purse. Tracing American influence on MDBs over three decades, this volume assesses increased congressional activism and the perpetual “selling” of banks to Congress by the executive branch. Babb contends that congressional reluctance to fund the MDBs has enhanced the influence of the United States on them by making credible America’s threat to abandon the banks if its policy preferences are not followed. At a time when the United States’ role in world affairs is being closely scrutinized, Behind the Development Banks will be necessary reading for anyone interested in how American politics helps determine the fate of developing countries.

Poverty Knowledge

Author: Alice O'Connor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400824745
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Progressive-era "poverty warriors" cast poverty in America as a problem of unemployment, low wages, labor exploitation, and political disfranchisement. In the 1990s, policy specialists made "dependency" the issue and crafted incentives to get people off welfare. Poverty Knowledge gives the first comprehensive historical account of the thinking behind these very different views of "the poverty problem," in a century-spanning inquiry into the politics, institutions, ideologies, and social science that shaped poverty research and policy. Alice O'Connor chronicles a transformation in the study of poverty, from a reform-minded inquiry into the political economy of industrial capitalism to a detached, highly technical analysis of the demographic and behavioral characteristics of the poor. Along the way, she uncovers the origins of several controversial concepts, including the "culture of poverty" and the "underclass." She shows how such notions emerged not only from trends within the social sciences, but from the central preoccupations of twentieth-century American liberalism: economic growth, the Cold War against communism, the changing fortunes of the welfare state, and the enduring racial divide. The book details important changes in the politics and organization as well as the substance of poverty knowledge. Tracing the genesis of a still-thriving poverty research industry from its roots in the War on Poverty, it demonstrates how research agendas were subsequently influenced by an emerging obsession with welfare reform. Over the course of the twentieth century, O'Connor shows, the study of poverty became more about altering individual behavior and less about addressing structural inequality. The consequences of this steady narrowing of focus came to the fore in the 1990s, when the nation's leading poverty experts helped to end "welfare as we know it." O'Connor shows just how far they had traveled from their field's original aims.

The Perils of Federalism

Author: Lisa L. Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195331680
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the past dozen years, a number of American cities plagued by gun violence have tried to enact local laws to stem gun-related crime. Yet policymakers at the state and federal levels have very frequently stymied their efforts. This is not an atypical phenomenon. In fact, for a whole range of pressing social problems, state and federal policymakers ignore the demands of local communities that suffer from such ills the most. Lisa L. Miller asks, how does America's multi-tiered political system shape crime policy in ways that empower the higher levels of government yet demobilize and disempower local communities? After all, crime has a disproportionate impact on poor and minority communities, which typically connect crime and violence to broader social and economic inequities at the local level. As The Perils of Federalism powerfully demonstrates, though, the real control to set policy lies with the state and federal governments, and at these levels single-issue advocates - gun rights groups as well as prison, prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies - are able to shape policy over the heads of the people most affected by the issue. There is a tragic irony in this. The conventional wisdom that emerged from the Civil Rights era was that the higher levels of government - and the federal level in particular - best served the disadvantaged, while localities were most likely to ignore the social problems resulting from racial and economic inequality. Crime policy, Miller argues, teaches us an opposite lesson: as policy control migrates to higher levels, the priorities of low-income minority communities are ignored, the realities of racial and economic inequality are marginalized, and citizens lose their voices. Taking readers from the streets of Philadelphia to the halls of Congress, she details how and why our system operates in the way that it does. Ultimately, the book not only challenges what we think about the advantages of relying of federal power for sensible and fair solutions to longstanding social problems. It also highlights the deep disconnect between the structure of the American political system and the ideals of democratic accountability.

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political Social Science

Author: Vesla Weaver
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1483317331
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Criminal justice has become a key way that citizens and communities interact with their state. And yet we know strikingly little about its political and civic effects. In this volume, scholars from several disciplines consider the consequences of criminal justice for democratic life in the United States. In particular, the contributors to this volume ask: 1. What are the consequences of America’s high rate of incarceration and criminal justice contact for citizenship and civic life? 2. What are the implications of the disparate racial impacts of these criminal justice policies for the political inclusion and voice of minorities and ability of their communities to achieve collective ends? 3. Does seeing how these policies shape the life chances of citizens and inequality of the broader society change our view of how the state operates and governs its citizens?

Left Behind

Author: Sebastian Edwards
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226184803
Format: PDF, Docs
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The political and economic history of Latin America has been marked by great hopes and even greater disappointments. Despite abundant resources—and a history of productivity and wealth—in recent decades the region has fallen further and further behind developed nations, surpassed even by other developing economies in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. In Left Behind, Sebastian Edwards explains why the nations of Latin America have failed to share in the fruits of globalization and forcefully highlights the dangers of the recent turn to economic populism in the region. He begins by detailing the many ways Latin American governments have stifled economic development over the years through excessive regulation, currency manipulation, and thoroughgoing corruption. He then turns to the neoliberal reforms of the early 1990s, which called for the elimination of deficits, lowering of trade barriers, and privatization of inefficient public enterprises—and which, Edwards argues, held the promise of freeing Latin America from the burdens of the past. Flawed implementation, however, meant the promised gains of globalization were never felt by the mass of citizens, and growing frustration with stalled progress has led to a resurgence of populism throughout the region, exemplified by the economic policies of Venezuela’sHugo Chávez. But such measures, Edwards warns, are a recipe for disaster; instead, he argues, the way forward for Latin America lies in further market reforms, more honestly pursued and fairly implemented. As an example of the promise of that approach, Edwards points to Latin America's giant, Brazil, which under the successful administration of President Luis Inácio da Silva (Lula) has finally begun to show signs of reaching its true economic potential. As the global financial crisis has reminded us, the risks posed by failing economies extend far beyond their national borders. Putting Latin America back on a path toward sustained growth is crucial not just for the region but for the world, and Left Behind offers a clear, concise blueprint for the way forward.